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Kucinich: Iraq Policy Will Lead to Draft

Associated Press | Jan 24 2004

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - America's policy in Iraq will lead to a resumption of the military draft, Democrat Dennis Kucinich told high school and college students Saturday.

``The body count keeps rising,'' Kucinich said, pointing to reports of more deaths in Iraq.

``We are not that far away from this country moving toward a draft,'' he said. ``It's just inevitable because the number of troops are going down and the U.S. commitments are worldwide and there is a point at which that is the next step.''

After his speech, Kucinich said he was not trying to stir up unreasonable fears.

``These kids' lives are on the line,'' he said.

Kucinich took rival John Kerry to task for proposing to create two more divisions of troops at a time when many soldiers and reservists are not re-enlisting.

``Where are those people going to come from,'' Kucinich asked.

He acknowledged that Kerry opposes the draft, but said ``I am the only person running for president who has challenged the president going in (to Iraq), challenged the president on staying in and offered a plan to get our troops out.''

Kerry has said he would expand the Army to raise two new divisions. He has not said he would send them to Iraq.

Kucinich proposes the United States turn over peacekeeping, managing oil assets and rebuilding contract awards in Iraq to the United Nations so American troops can come home. He also wants the United States to help pay for the U.N. occupation; pay to rebuild what it has destroyed in Iraq and pay the families of civilians who were killed.
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